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Parent Engagement

Parent engagement is an ongoing process, and how parents choose to become involved may vary from individual to individual. Today, the person who parents a child in Head Start may be a teenager, a single father, a recent immigrant, a grandmother, a foster parent, an aunt or a great-aunt. Fewer parents are at home full-time with their children. More parents are working two or more jobs or are in school or training full-time themselves. These and many other factors mean that there is no typical parent and no one best way to get them involved. Traditional strategies to involve parents in Head Start, such as classroom volunteering or membership on the Policy Council, may not meet the interests, needs or logistical requirements of all parents. Because of the more complex nature of parenting today, parent involvement is too big a task to for any one employee. It takes creativity, teamwork and the skills of the entire staff. The contribution of family experience, perspective and participation is of tremendous value to Head Start Programs. This workshop will discuss the provisions of the Act that relates to a parents required involvement, strategies to be more involved and role of the entire staff in engaging parents.

Learning Objectives:

  • Ability to clarify regulations, definitions and interpretations to build consistency and continuity amongst policy council / parent committee
  • Identify their role and responsibility to the policy council / parent committee and Head Start Agency
  • Establish a mutual working relationship with governing board, Policy Council and Head Start Agency
  • Improves family life through strengthening parent-child relationships, enhanced home learning environments
  • Increased parental self-sufficiency